An anonymous question received this week:
"I know what the organization says publicly but is the IFA pro-franchisee or are they more of an extension of franchisors? I'm not sure that you can be both."
For franchisees and the IFA - You need each other, in much the same way that you need your franchisor. Every industry needs public and political representation. But, this is very much of a "strange bedfellows" situation. The relationship needs to be carefully managed.
A couple of hypotheticals: If the IFA wanted to work against proposed legislation that would regulate the industry in a way that would harm the entire franchise industry it would be good to have all franchisees on board.
But, what about legislation or regulation that would give franchisors the absolute power to develop new locations with no consideration given for cannibalization of the sales of existing locations? Franchisees might want to be on the opposite side of the IFA.
Traditionally the IFA was for franchisor members only. A few decades ago they realized that was publically untenable and started allowing franchisees as members.
McDonald's Owner/Operators will need to trust their selected and elected representatives to manage the relationship with the IFA. Everyone should expect that when it comes down to the IFA and the best interests of the big franchisors - the franchisees will go under the bus.